What books are important to have on your own personal library shelf? I’m not referring to curriculum, but to reference books — books you will need no matter which curriculum you use.
Here is a short list of books we could not do without:
1. The Nelson Study Bible NKJV
2. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
3. Another larger dictionary to look up those unusual words
4. A smaller dictionary for quick reference — we use A Dictionary for Boys and Girls (published by G. and C. Merriam Company, unknown date). I like this dictionary because it was the one Harvey used when he was in grade school, and I like to read all his doodles.
5. Bob Jones English Handbook for Christian Schools
6. Greek/English interlinear
7. Greek lexicon
8. Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife
9. Masterplots, 15-Volume combined edition, Fifteen Hundred and Ten Plot-Stories and Essay-Reviews from the World’s Fine Literature, edited by Frank N. Magill, story editor Dayton Kohler, Salem Press, Inc., New York, 1964. Other editions would be just fine also.
10. A concordance to the Bible
11.Reader’s Digest Family Word Finder: A New Thesaurus of Synonyms and Antonyms in Dictionary Form, The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, NY, 1986. Any thesaurus would be fine.
12. Gray’s Anatomy by Henry Gray. There are many editions of this book.
13. Black’s Law Dictionary containing definitions of the terms and phrases of American and English jurisprudence, ancient and modern and including the principal terms of international, constitutional, ecclesiastical and commercial law, and medical jurisprudence, with a collection of legal maxims, numerous
select titles from the Roman, modern civil, Scotch, French, Spanish, and Mexican law, and other foreign systems, and a table of abbreviations, by Henry Campbell Black, first published in 1891. Several editions available.
14. A set of encyclopedias — we have Britannica, but others are just as good.
15. Chicago Manual of Style
16. Subscriptions to one or more homeschooling magazines (The Old Schoolhouse, Homeschooling Today, Practical Homeschooling, Home School Enrichment)
17. A good Bible dictionary. We have Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: An authoritative one-volume reference work on the Bible, with full-color illustrations, Herbert Lockyer, Sr., general editor, Thomas Nelson Publishers. There are numerous good Bible dictionaries.
18. The Wall Chart of World History, from earliest times to the present with maps of the world’s great empires and a complete geological diagram of the earth drawn by Professor Edward Hull
19. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events, the world-famous reference that tells who did what when from 4500 BC to the present day–now updated for the 1990’s by Bernard Grun, based upon Werner Stein’s Kulturfahrplan